By Jack Bryson
The writing is pretty smooth and in general it’s a fun story. The story is told from the perspective of Cora, an artificially intelligent robot who longs to be “free” and see life on Vardan V. Curiously, there are alien humanoid species all over the universe with whom Cora seems familiar, but only the sea creatures on Vardan V interest her.
Cora told her crewmates Ben and Tanya (scavengers) that there is a valuable artifact on Vardan V. The plot with Ben and Tanya is the most interesting- two thieves gamble that there is something valuable under thick layers of ice on the frozen moon. Their expedition is interrupted when shady scientists led by Professor Isaak Malcolm land on the frozen moon to search for the same artifact. An uneasy truce is forged between Ben, Tanya and the scientists as they work together to search for the artifact.
I want to sympathize with Cora but her enslavement is not convincing. She thinks like a human and resents being treated like a “device” that can be switched on and off, but she has the ability to walk away from Ben and Tanya when she’s “had enough”. When she fell in the snow, was that her programming contradicting her will? It’s not clear. Perhaps it would be more convincing if we saw Cora struggle against the added code that imprisoned her on the Daragan Rift (Ben and Tanya’s ship). At any rate, Cora sounds too human for my taste but I love robots and in general always root for them.
I give this story 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a smooth read and entertaining. Check out the links below- you can find it on Amazon.